FARMINGDALE, NY - AUGUST 24: (L-R) Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland talks with Tiger Woods as they walk up the fairway on the second hole during the second round of The Barclays at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park August 24, 2012 in Farmingdale, New York. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Make no mistake about it; Tiger vs. Rory is the golf rivalry this generation has been longing for.
The second round of the 2012 BMW Championship has come to a conclusion, and the two biggest names in the spotlight are living up to all the hype.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory are currently tied for second place at 12-under, one shot behind Vijay Singh. Both golfers have been playing stellar golf over the past few weeks, most recently with McIlroy winning last week's Deutsche Bank Championship while Tiger finished two-shots back in third place. Both players now have three tournament wins on the season, and it would appear that golf fans everywhere finally have a full-fledged rivalry to witness.
What makes the Tiger/Rory rivalry even more enticing and enjoyable is the fact that both players legitimately like and respect one another. Just prior to the FedEx Cup Playoffs both players took playful jabs at one another, quipping how Rory is ready to "kick Tiger's ass", who responded he had no intention of allowing that to happen. The two superstars have also recently agreed to play in an exhibition match in China that is nothing more than a cash-grab for interested parties, but will still be enjoyable all the same.
There have been many contenders to Tiger's proverbial crown atop golf's highest echelon, all of whom eventually falling by the wayside over time. A young Sergio Garcia has failed to live up to the level of hype he once had early in his career as the "heir-apparent". A handful of amateur golfers with Tiger-like talent - such as Bryce Molder - have fizzled away as well over the years. Phil Mickelson seemed the likely candidate to be Woods' true rival, and has come the closest to playing up to that billing.
That is, until Rory came along.
Take note golf fans: what we are witnessing throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs is about as real as any true golf rivalry is going to get. Tales of Nicklaus vs. Watson, Palmer vs. Hogan, and even Young Tom vs. Old Tom very well may have another pairing to accompany them in golf lore.
What's even better is that both Tiger and Rory realize it.
Tiger vs. Rory is finally happening, and this is going to be one hell of a show.